Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism Paperback – September, 1996

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$29.46 $2.96

The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou
The Complete Poetry
Timeless and prescient, this definitive compendium of Maya Angelou's poetry introduces new readers to the legendary poet. Learn more | See related books

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Story Line Press (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885266308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885266309
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Twenty-five young poets (by fiat born after 1940) make up the angels in this collection who carry on a curious "rebellion" against the then rebellious poetry of the 1960s and 1970s, which had waged such an effective war against rhyme, meter, narrative, and all such other traditional artifices deemed antithetical to Truth. Their work is anthologized here under the banner of "The New Formalism," a program committed to the rediscovery of the "inherent power of measured speech, even rhyme, and the power of narrative." The result is a collection of poems that clearly gain focus and accessibility from the rigor of the formulas and rules they unabashedly embrace, without, in most cases, losing the alleged honesty and sincerity that unfettered "free verse" had formerly promised. These are good poems that render a wide variety of contemporary American experiences. Recommended for general readers and particularly for those interested in modern poetry.?Thomas F. Merrill, Sanibel P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Deadwood Dick by Elizabeth Alexander
Letter: Blues by Elizabeth Alexander
Who I Think You Are by Elizabeth Alexander
From 33 by Julia Alvarez
How I Learned To Sweep by Julia Alvarez
Woman's Work by Julia Alvarez
Grand Central Station, 20 December 1987 by Bruce Bawer
On Leaving The Artists' Colony by Bruce Bawer
The View From An Airplane At Night, Over California by Bruce Bawer
Allegory by Rafael Campo
Aunt Toni's Heart by Rafael Campo
El Dia De Los Muertos by Rafael Campo
For J. W. by Rafael Campo
Ballade Of The New God by Thomas M. Disch
A Bookmark by Thomas M. Disch
The Clouds by Thomas M. Disch
Convalescing In London by Thomas M. Disch
Entropic Villanelle by Thomas M. Disch
The Rapist's Villanelle by Thomas M. Disch
Zewhyexary by Thomas M. Disch
Mark Stern by Frederick Feirstein
Mark Stern Wakes Up by Frederick Feirstein
The Rune-maker by Frederick Feirstein
Counting The Children by Dana Gioia
The Country Wife by Dana Gioia
Guide To The Other Gallery by Dana Gioia
Lives Of The Great Composers by Dana Gioia
Maze Without A Minotaur by Dana Gioia
My Confessional Sestina by Dana Gioia
Summer Storm by Dana Gioia
Back Trouble by Emily Grosholz
Eden by Emily Grosholz
Life Of A Salesman by Emily Grosholz
The Old Fisherman by Emily Grosholz
On The Ferry, Toward Patras by Emily Grosholz
The Outer Banks by Emily Grosholz
Remembering The Ardeche by Emily Grosholz
Among Philistines by Robert Samuel Gwynn
Anacreontic by Robert Samuel Gwynn
Approaching A Significant Birthday, He Peruses The Norton Anthology Of by Robert Samuel Gwynn
Body Bags by Robert Samuel Gwynn
The Classroom At The Mall by Robert Samuel Gwynn
The Drive-in by Robert Samuel Gwynn
Release by Robert Samuel Gwynn
Cancer Winter by Marilyn Hacker
Coda, Sels. by Marilyn Hacker
Elevens by Marilyn Hacker
Elysian Fields by Marilyn Hacker
Nights Of 1964-1966: The Old Reliable by Marilyn Hacker
Rune Of The Finlland Woman by Marilyn Hacker
Wagers by Marilyn Hacker
Journey Out by Rachel Hadas
Mo Ments Of Summer by Rachel Hadas
The Red Hat by Rachel Hadas
Sentimental Education by Rachel Hadas
Three Silences by Rachel Hadas
Dead Christ by Andrew Hudgins
Elegy For My Father, Who Is Not Dead by Andrew Hudgins
The Hereafter by Andrew Hudgins
Praying Drunk by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 1. At The Piano by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 2. Eve's Sin by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 3. Where The River Jordan Ends by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 4. Loose Change by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 5. The Southern Crescent Was On Time by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 6. A Kiss In Church by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 7. Glossolalia by Andrew Hudgins
Saints And Strangers: 8. Saints And Strangers by Andrew Hudgins
The Telling by Andrew Hudgins
Two Ember Days In Alabama by Andrew Hudgins
Blue Jay by Paul Lake
Crime And Punishment by Paul Lake
In Rough Weather by Paul Lake
Introduction To Poetry by Paul Lake
At The Flyfisher's Shack by Sydney Lea
Clouded Evening, Late September by Sydney Lea
The Feud by Sydney Lea
Insomnia: The Distances by Sydney Lea
Telescope by Sydney Lea
The Wrong Way Will Haunt You (shooting A Hound) by Sydney Lea
The Ghost Of A Ghost by Brad Leithauser
The Haunted by Brad Leithauser
Old Bachelor Brother by Brad Leithauser
Post-coitum Tristesse: A Sonnet by Brad Leithauser
The Lost Bee by Phillis Levin
A Meeting Of Friends by Phillis Levin
Night Coach by Phillis Levin
The Shadow Returns by Phillis Levin
E.s.l. (english As A Second Language) by Charles Martin
Easter Sunday, 1985 by Charles Martin
Metaphor Of Grass In California by Charles Martin
Satyr, Cunnilinguent: To Herman Melville by Charles Martin
Sharks At The New York Aquarium by Charles Martin
Speech Against Stone by Charles Martin
Victoria's Secret by Charles Martin
Balance by Marilyn Nelson
The Ballad Of Aunt Geneva by Marilyn Nelson
Chopin by Marilyn Nelson
Desire by Molly Peacock
Dream Come True by Molly Peacock
Have You Ever Faked An Orgasm? (2) by Molly Peacock
How I Come To You by Molly Peacock
The Return by Molly Peacock
Those Paperweights With Snow Inside by Molly Peacock
The Wheel by Molly Peacock
Elderly Lady Crossing On Green by Wyatt Prunty
The Ferris Wheel by Wyatt Prunty
Insomnia by Wyatt Prunty
A Note Of Thanks by Wyatt Prunty
Reading Before We Read, Horoscope And Weather by Wyatt Prunty
To Be Sung On The Fourth Of July by Wyatt Prunty
A Winter's Tale by Wyatt Prunty
Frost At Midnight by Mary Jo Salter
Summer 1983 by Mary Jo Salter
Welcome To Hiroshima by Mary Jo Salter
What Do Women Want? by Mary Jo Salter
An Aubade by Timothy Reid Steele
Eros by Timothy Reid Steele
In The King's Rooms by Timothy Reid Steele
Joseph by Timothy Reid Steele
The Library by Timothy Reid Steele
Timothy by Timothy Reid Steele
The Wartburg, 1521-22 by Timothy Reid Steele
April Wind by Frederick Turner
On The Pains Of Thranslating Miklos Radnoti by Frederick Turner
Spring Evening by Frederick Turner
Dinner At Le Caprice by Rachel Wetzsteon
Three Songs by Rachel Wetzsteon
Three Songs by Rachel Wetzsteon
Annual Returns by Greg Williamson
The Counterfeiter by Greg Williamson
Walter Parmer by Greg Williamson
Waterfall by Greg Williamson
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nick V. on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fine riposte against the free verse orthodoxy that has dominated the thinking of lazy academicians and hipsters for decades. How many ignorant sneers from these "fundamentalists" have I heard over the years? Hey, if you can't write a good sonnet or villanelle yourself, don't knock those who can. And if metrical poetry ain't your thing, great--it's a big world--plenty of free verse for those who want free verse. The idea that formal verse ever disappeared, however, is something of a myth (perhaps self-serving in the case of the so-called "New Formalists"). Strong metrical poets have appeared in every generation of American poets, from Robinson and Frost to Ransom, Francis, Winters, and Cunningham to Nemerov, Wilbur, and Hecht. Also, many acclaimed contemporary free verse poets started off writing formal verse (e.g., W.S. Merwin, James Wright, and Adrienne Rich). It's out there, and it always will be, because the challenge of it will always engage some writers--although few will ever be up to it. Of those poets born in the 40s and 50s collected in this volume, the most outstanding seem to me to be Timothy Steele, R. S. Gwynn, and Dana Gioia. The anthology is uneven but it provides an excellent introduction to contemporary verse that should send the reader off in search of collections by the best individual poets. (If you want a really scathing attack on academic orthodoxy, check out Gwynn's _Narcissiad_.)
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By wjg@brooktrout.com on December 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
"Rebel Angels" showcases many contemporary poets who may be praised for working in traditional forms in an up-to-date idiom, but who may also be chided for inefficient workmanship. Meter and rhyme, as Dana Gioia has pointed out, have been in decline for decades. The New Formalist poets have made a valiant effort at reestablishing meter and rhyme, but unfortunately their own competence in traditional forms is in some question. There are exceptions: Timothy Steele, while he sounds too much like Richard Wilbur on occasion, is the best of the lot, with Bruce Bauer, Charles Martin, and Brad Leithauser runners-up. The rest suffer deficiencies in craftsmanship, sometimes serious ones. The revival of formalism has much ground to cover. However, despite these reservations, the book provides a good starting point for those interested in contemporary, formal poetry. (The committed reader would do well to check out the original volumes by the poets mentioned above, particularly Steele.)
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Editors Mark Jarman and David Mason have produced a wonderful anthology. Rebel Angels is the first such anthology and an excellent summative presentation of the exciting "new" movement amongst American poets born after 1940 known as New Formalism. The individual poets selected and their respective samples of work are instructive for showing qualitatively what the movement has thus far produced. The Preface also places the movement into historical context and identifies a contemporary genre deserving of respect for its presumptive legitimacy in English, American and Southern Literature, even if it does not reflect the prevailing aesthetic. As long as people sing songs and tap out time to the measure of speech, well, our language cries out for an expression born--and reborn by New Formalists. As language is a symbolic representation of thought moreover, it may be asserted that verse forms utilizing rhyme and meter concentrate the energy in a poem most effectively. Form tends to turn words and corresponding thought into caplets of power, whereas free verse often dissipates or dilutes the impressions and messages in a poem.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?